Well, the past 3 days have seen the media ease off of the Giants. Considerably. Now everyone is figuring out what Phil Simms said here on 12/3 and what I said on 12/10… that if the Giants play their cards right they are in the playoffs. But what no one is saying this week is that (a) Coughlin is still mediocre and deserves the door and (b) Manning was not good on Sunday and does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Coughlin coached against an ill-equiped team and Manning played against one. If this game was against the Saints and we had (likely) lost, you would still be hearing about the inadequacies of these two. But the sycophants (aka beat writers) have to mix it up a little and make the fans feel good about their team after a win. Back on the bandwagon. Make no mistake, I think the Giants should win on Sunday vs the Eagles, because the Eagles are not a very good football team right now. They cannot stop the run, and you can bet your sweet a** that the Giants will run it often. With any success at all, they should win. And the drumbeat for playoffs etc… will grow louder. I said it here a few days ago that you should not get too comfortable with the ‘feel good’ that will pervade until Strahan and Petitgout can come back.
Let’s go over a few items. 1-Why does Coughlin continue to shuttle out that moose Jacobs exclusively on short yardage, then predictably run him into the line every time? Desperate teams in December are selling out on the run and stopping this play. The Cowboys made the huge stop on 4th down. (I contend Jacobs went out wide because there was nothing inside, as Pettigout’s replacement could not do anything on the left side.) 2- The Giants were 4-18 on 3rd down…. 3- This, against a team that was missing 2 LBers and 3 cornerbacks. DREADFUL! The Giants did not get a first down after midway in the 3rd quarter. 4- Eli Manning’s stats looked rosy after this outing, but boy were they misleading. His completion percentage was brought up by a bunch of short passes. A Panther dropped a sure INT. Burress pushed off on his TD reception. On the Burress bomb in Q1, Manning made a good step up into the pocket, but he underthrew the pass and Burress had to slow down and wait…while the defender caught up to it, making Burress fight for what could have been an easy TD if thrown with more accuracy.
I saw Fox in his postgame press conference (available at http://www.nfl.com). What a class act. He stayed away from criticizing his team despite the fact that they are a lot more banged up than we are. He deftly handled the questions despite the obvious implications for his season. What a contrast between this guy and the Giants.
Bottomline- Manning is not an accurate QB and Coughlin is still a meathead mediocre coach. Only having Strahan and Petitgout back can give us enough talent to overcome those deficiencies, if your desire is like mine- to see the Giants win a championship this season. There was a short time ago, back in Dallas TX, when we had that kind of team. So it is possible, but not likely.